Ten Tips For New Bloggers

Blogging, like anything else, can be difficult to get in to when you don’t know what exactly to do and how to do it. Writing for a blog, and writing in general, takes practice. Writing my first blog was a much slower process than writing blogs are for me now. With all that I’ve learned, my writing is much more fluid. I’m no expert on blogging but I hope that what I share with you helps to some extent.

  1. Blog about something that interests you. If you can freely choose what to blog about, then pick something that you like or would like to know more about. It makes the process much more fun.
  2. Be yourself. Let your personality shine through your writing.
  3. Get to know the blogging platform you are using. When I first started using WordPress, I was lost. With the help of others I learned how to set up my blog and where the essential basic things were. From this basic knowledge I explored a few things and was able to enhance the appearance of my blog and my writing.

    Ryan "Jingles" Seecrest updating Twitter

  4. Comment on other people’s blogs–your friends’ blogs and professionals’ blogs. I probably wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t required for class, but I learned its value over time. When you comment on other people’s blogs, you create conversation that builds a connection and stimulates growth. Being assigned to comment on other blogs got me reading blog posts that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and I learned a few things. It also felt nice to receive comments on my own blogs, especially when one of them was from a complete stranger (ie. someone who wasn’t required to comment). Read the post I wrote on commenting if you want to learn more.
  5. Incorporate multimedia. That is one of the advantages of digital writing. You can add pictures, videos, slideshows, and sound to make your posts more engaging.
  6. Write short paragraphs and bullet or number things where possible and appropriate. People scan when they are reading off a computer screen.
  7. Try to post regularly. It will keep others coming back and like I said before the more practice you have, the better you get at writing.
  8. Give credit to where credit is due. Cite where you get ideas or quotes from.
  9. Use proper grammar and proofread. It’s good to write conversationally but that doesn’t mean you abandon sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, and other grammar rules.
  10. Use tags and create categories. They will draw people to your posts and categories keep your blog organized.

What’s Your Bloggeragative? The Motives Behind the Blog Posts

Over the course of the last year and a half or so I have been listening to my dad go on from time to time about how blogging is important for businesses, mind you he’s an electrician. While he doesn’t really do it all that much for his business, he began to get convinced of the power of blogging from watching videos about online marketing. He would inform me of how blogging on your website will increase your ranking and how it helps you present yourself to potential customers. I always just kind of blew my dad off because I thought he was wasting his time trying to learn how to get rich quick by marketing online so he could stop working long hours and retire sooner. Even with this, I did not realize how much blogging is used professionally before taking Writing for Digital Media. 

Since 2004 Technorati has been following growth and trends of blogging. This year they have payed close attention to blogging and social media, bloggers and traditional media, traffic and analysis, brands and marketing in the blogosphere, bloggers’ motivations and consequences, monetization, and changes that have taken place over 2011. They found that bloggers are updating their blogs more frequently and spending more time blogging. While conversation between friends was the primary influence in 2010, other types of blogs are having more of an influence in 2011.

Technorati displayed their results according to five different types of bloggers:

“1) Hobbyist: The backbone of the blogosphere, and representing 60% of the respondents to this survey, Hobbyists say that they “blog for fun” and do not report any income. Half of hobbyists prefer to express their “personal musings” when blogging. 60% indicate they spend less than three hours a week blogging, yet half of hobbyists respond individually to comments from readers. Because 72% blog to speak their minds, their main success metric is personal satisfaction (61%).

2-3) Professional Part- and Full-Timers: These bloggers represent 18% of our total group. They are independent bloggers who either use blogging as a way to supplement their income, or consider it their full-time job. Most of these professional bloggers don’t consider blogging their primary source of income. This group primarily blogs about personal musings and technology

4) Corporate: Corporate bloggers make up 8% of the blogosphere. They blog as part of their full-time job or blog full-time for a company or organization they work for. These bloggers primarily talk about technology and business in their blogs. 70% blog to share expertise, 61% to gain professional recognition, and 52% to attract new clients. They have found that blogging has given them greater visibility in their industry (64%) and company (63%). 63% of corporate bloggers use their number of unique visitors to measure success. 

5) Entrepreneurs: 13% of the blogosphere is characterized as entrepreneurs, or individuals blogging for a company or organization they own. 84% of these bloggers blog primarily about the industry they work in, with 46% blogging about business and 40% about technology. 76% blog to share expertise; 70% blog to gain professional recognition; and 68% to attract new clients for their business.”
You can read the full post or see more of the results by reading “Who the bloggers are,” “What’s in it for bloggers,” and “Active blogging.”

After reading this I thought of another category to be added.

6) Student Bloggers: Students who are forced to maintain a blog and have a certain amount of posts by a certain date. Hopefully these bloggers will become one or more of the previous types of bloggers above, but for now most of them just do it for the grade. However, somewhere along the way many of them will discover the value of blogging and learn of its importance. There are a few hobbyist bloggers that are in this group and hopefully many that will emerge out of it. It is also a possibility, but most likely very rare, that there are professional part-timers and entrepreneurs in this group. 

I hope to use blogging in whatever ministry or organization I end up in after graduating. I want to use it to raise awareness about certain needs, teach people different principles of Christian living and leadership, and to update whatever community I’m a part of about what is going on. I also wish to blog as a hobbyist. I will pour my thoughts into posts and hopefully somehow help others through whatever I write; I may do so through tumblr. Maybe along the way I will even be blessed enough to become a part-time blogger.

How will you be using blogging in the future? Where do you see the blogosphere heading?